Courtesy of  Ray Leisy, Club Historian
Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, has its origins in family members who decorated graves of those who died in the Civil War. The origin of the event in history is uncertain. Many groups claim to have started the event.

After the two World Wars it became a general day of remembrance, not just for the Civil War. While the name “Memorial Day” was used as early as 1882, it did not come into wide use until after World War II when it became a day to honor both deceased and living veterans. It became a Federal Holiday in 1971 and the date for observance was fixed as the last Monday in May.
Since the organization of Wooster Rotary in 1921, Memorial Day has taken on significant meaning for the Club. There were at least two veterans of the Spanish-American War to join the Club in the early years, and many returning veterans of World War I added to the number of Veterans in the Club.

During World War II, Wooster Rotarian enlistees were granted “leave” and assured of membership without any loss upon their return. It was fortunate that all enlistees did return to reclaim their membership. Today, there are many men and women veterans in the Wooster Rotary Club.

Beginning in the early 2000’s, the Wooster Rotary Club went further by sponsoring a special day, generally around Armistice Day, to honor all Rotary Veterans and any veteran guests a Rotarian brought to the event. The Club has gone on to honor all Wayne County Veterans by providing funds for the Battlefield Cross dedicated at Wooster Cemetery last year and the Gold Star Families Memorial this year, unveiled yesterday by Wooster Rotary's own Lt. Col. Greg Long.